Sierra Leone + 2 more

Sierra Leone: Increased refugee movement in eastern border areas

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ABIDJAN, 12 March (IRIN) - The movement of Liberian refugees and Sierra Leonean returnees from Guinea, Liberia and elsewhere increased last week in Sierra Leone, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported in its latest weekly update, which covers 2-8 March.
There were seven convoys transporting returnees and refugees during the reporting period, UNHCR said. Four ferried some 962 refugees from the eastern areas of Zimmi and Kailahun to camps farther away from the border with Liberia. Three transported 790 returnees from the northern town of Port Loko to their areas of origin.

Some 755 former Sierra Leonean refugees arrived in two convoys from Guinea, UNHCR said, bringing to 4,764 the number of Sierra Leoneans repatriated from Guinea so far this year. Another convoy was expected on Monday while two flights brought 89 Sierra Leoneans from Liberia, bringing the total number of airborne returnees from that country since 28 February to 115.

There were currently 47,263 people in seven camps. However UNHCR expressed concern over the placement of child ex-combatants in camps without having them first participate in intensive demobilisation and rehabilitation programmes.

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